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Photo project «Saint-Petersburg. Childhood of many faces»

Yana Feldman

© Yana Feldman

http://feldmanyana.com

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The aim of my project is not simply to make the portrait photos of children of different nationalities. I'm looking for families where the family, national traditions and customs are really saved. In my opinion, this project is interesting, and probably differs from any other of the same theme by the fact, that I find these children in one city - St. Petersburg. I don’t travel to the hinterland of the country especially, and in other countries where such families are common. St. Petersburg is the cosmopolitan city of several million inhabitants. Every family has its own cultural and traditional features, with the character and quality of life, with the habits and preferences. Unfortunately, too little families keep even any family traditions (for example, Sunday dinners, recipes from their grandparents, and skills from father to son, etc.), and mind of their historical roots a fortiori. Perhaps this is because big city forces people to assimilate, to live in a different rhythm, subordinates its own rules. It may seem that all my heroes are ordinary children, but of different age and appearance. But it is not true. I set myself the task to open the door to the small world of every family, to get acquainted with the culture of each character, which is stored only inside and not visible from outside. Family, lifestyle, religion – all these are just begin to govern the children and we can only guess about his future fate. All of this I would like to show in genre scenes and portraits, with children as the main characters. They may be alone or in a group, with their parents or teachers, but their presence is obligatory. Representing the people of different nationalities in my project, I want to show those children who, despite the fact that they live in St. Petersburg, don’t forget their traditions, celebrate holidays, study in special schools, and follow in their culture. In my opinion, no one can honestly convey the emotions and mood but a child.

© Yana Feldman

http://feldmanyana.com

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My heroes

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“Africa inside” © Yana Feldman

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Inas studies in the second class ordinary Russian school in Saint-Petersburg. Her father, a Muslim from a distant African country, Sudan, lives in Russia for over 10 years. Together with Inas’s mother they all make a very friendly and lovely family. Inas adores ballroom dancing, speaks Russian fluently without any accent and externally (except for dark skin) does not differ much from their peers. But at the same time, their family has every day breakfast with national dish of African beans, which are eaten only by hand without spoons (!). Inas knows Arabic and is able to pray in way that her father taught her. And she dances with great pleasure in traditional dress of Sudanese women at home only behind her parents.

Š Yana Feldman

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“The link of generations”

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Danir lives in Saint-Petersburg. His great-grandfather lives in small village near Kazan – more than 1000 km. far from. He is a religious leader there – mullah. Every year Danir’s great-grandfather and great-grandmother visit his family and guest for a week or two. It is the time when Danir teaches holy Koran. The book is very old. It is a relic, that he will get sometime. The real link of generations.

© Yana Feldman

http://feldmanyana.com

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“Before the performance”

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Twelve years old Aisha comes from a mixed family: her father is from India and her mother is from Russia. She is engaged in traditional Indian dances. Father’s family from India presented her the authentic sari and a set of jewellery especially for these dancing lessons. She looks like a native Indian girl in such clothes, but a “chandra” (a point on the forehead) that she makes up every time before a performance and wipes afterwards. Aisha has several times been staying at her Indian relatives in Rajasthan and wishes to return back again.

© Yana Feldman

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“Give me a hint!”

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Danila is 11 years old. He is a schoolboy in a closed religious school for Jewish boys - the yeshiva. Every morning begins with prayer at school. Boys also pray in the afternoon and in the evening. There's generally a lot of prayers in yeshiva. Danila enjoy learning. He still wears a kippa (head dress), but after 2 years he will have a bar mitzvah - age ceremony for Jewish boys. After that he will wear a black hat with wide brim. Danila wants to finish yeshiva and to become a rabbi, as once in the early 20th century was his grandfather.

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“Buck drums”

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Son U Hun and his friend Hon Son Mu belong to the families of businessmen from South Korea. Their families live in one house in the center of SaintPetersburg. They visit each other every day. Son U Hun and Hon Son Mu are very glad to have an opportunity to communicate with their peers from the same country as long as they live far from their homeland. Boys are studying in an English school for foreign children in second grade. Also they study playing Buk drums in the Korean youth cultural center, where there are a lot of guys from such families as their in Saint-Petersburg. Studies are very difficult still, but they both really try well to perform at a future concert and please their parents. Son U Hun's sister in the same center is engaged in traditional dances Soane.

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“Offense”

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Lyuli is one of the eastern branches of the Gypsies, common in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan. The average standard of living in Lyuli is extremely low. Realizing themselves a distinct ethnic group Lyuli traditionally identify themselves as Tajiks and, occasionally, Gypsies. However, the Russian Gypsies don’t accept Lyuli for relatives and don’t help them. Lyuli rarely can be seen in Saint-Petersburg. According to the close - they do not differ much from Gypsies (so the native inhabitants suppose). But there is one characteristic feature – you will never watch a man in the group of Lyuli. There are only women and children. It is often Lyuli, but not the Russian Gypsies, who can propose you fortune-telling.

© Yana Feldman

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“Hereditary rope-walker”

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The family of young Seyfullah - are hereditary rope-walkers and circus performers from the Kyrgyz city of Osh. His grandfather is the Honored Artist of the national circuses of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, who has worked in the arena over 25 years. All Seyfullah’s brothers, sisters, uncles and other relatives are involved in the performances. One big family, they are all touring in the CIS countries, wandering from one place to another. Their performances are known far beyond their native city. They are frequent visitors to the fairs and summer festivals in Saint-Petersburg. Seyfullah is only about 3 years old. But he confidently walks the trapezia the height of 12m. like a real rope-walker. Although he is taken to that height with the help of adults. Like a true artist he sends kisses to the spectators after each his performance. This is his real life for the present days.

Š Yana Feldman

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“Pumping water for cooking” © Yana Feldman

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Valentine lives with her family in the Gypsy village in the suburb of SaintPetersburg. Kelderash (Valentine’s family belongs to such group of Gypsies) often give their children such unusual names. There is no central water supply in the village where they live, so Valentine, as well as most of her peers, every morning walks with bottles to the water pump station at the boundary of the village to collect drinking water for cooking. Valentine dreams to attend school together with all other children. But now he has no opportunity to succeed in it.

Š Yana Feldman

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“The art of calligraphy”

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Young Emili speaks fluently native Japanese, learns English in the school, but doesn’t know Russian at all, and still writes hieroglyphs badly. She studies in Japanese closed school like most of children from Japanese diplomats and businessmen families in Saint-Petersburg. From the yearly childhood she learns national language, culture and traditions. Emili family came to Russia from the USA, where her parents worked before. While living in New York she attended just the same school, where she began to learn the art of calligraphy.

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“Flour alphabet”

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Safi and her best friend Ryana teaches Arabic alphabet in the special Muslim center in Saint-Petersburg. They are very young. To make the learning easy and fun, their teachers feigned a special game: girls write the characters on the flour and then erase them, if they are mistaken. Safi writes quickly and always helps her friend.

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“Granny's pie”

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Irene is 6 years old, but she already loves to cook and help my grandmother in the kitchen. From generation to generation in their family passed branded prescription Georgian national dishes "hachapuri in Adjara." Grandmother says little Irene, to hachapuri turned out really tasty and juicy should try very well to the test. And let until Irenka not everything, and she sees it more as a game, though, it seems that without her help in the kitchen is not enough.

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“Male from the birth”

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Lezghinka - is a specific dance. It not only teaches a sense of rhythm, ductility and toughness, but even the little boys makes real men, proud, noble, respectful of women!

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“The second home”

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Arthur, Anna and Arina feel very comfortable in the church on the Nevsky Prospekt. For them, this atmosphere is pleasant and familiar, since childhood, they are with their parents often visit this special place for Armenians.

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“Not here”

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This boy, with jet-black eyes, recently lived in St. Petersburg, he goes to the Muslim center, where he studied Arabic, the Koran and other subjects. It is still difficult for him to socialize with other children and teachers. He misses home, not so long ago his family moved from sunny Uzbekistan.

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“Sunday school”

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Buryats - carriers of one of the most ancient religions - Buddhism, they have for nearly one hundred years, as have its own church in the northern capital. It is considered to be in the order of things to speak their native language: with llamas, leading the service and the reception of parishioners, as well as among themselves. It's no secret that apart from their historical homeland, many people begin to lose language practice, forget their own language, to say nothing about the children who are totally immersed in the European Petersburg culture. It should be noted that when datsan running a special Sunday school, where with everyone involved in the Buryat language.

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“Ebru”

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Aaron and Layla are cousins. They grow up in mixed families where mothers Turkish woman and fathers are Belarusian and Ukrainian. Kids make their first steps in studying national Turkish art master "Ebru" - a painting on the water. While it turns out not much, but it's a matter of time!

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“Easter”

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Little Andrew still attends the kindergarten, but he already knows very bright Russian Orthodox holiday of Easter. Together with their parents every year, he said it, planting seeds and coloring eggs.

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“Trndez”

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Armenian Trndez holiday – is a holiday of honeymoon, but Armenians mark his whole family, from small to large. First they light candles in the church, and then jump over the fire.

Š Yana Feldman

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“Yeshiva lesson”

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Danya is a student of yeshiva - Jewish boarding school. Here he is brought within the Jewish culture, learning traditions, language and religion of his people. Danya wears wide-brimmed hat - it means that he has already reached Bar Mitzvah - the Jewish majority. According to the Jewish tradition of legal age in boys comes in thirteen years.

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“Rhythms of the Caucasus”

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Ilkin comes from the Dagestani family. Twice a week he goes to study Caucasian peoples dances. It develops in boys courage, stamina, sense of rhythm. But he studies not only dancing, - also he plays the Caucasus drums!

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To be continued…

© Yana Feldman

http://feldmanyana.com

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Personal exhibitions Personal exhibition in Saint-Petersburg State Academic Capella gallery. Russia, Saint-Petersburg. 14.01-28.01.2013.

Personal exhibition in Belarusian National Technical University gallery. Belarus, Minsk.

06.03-17.04.2013.

Personal exhibition in Tallinn Photo Museum. Estonia, Tallinn.

04.12.2014-

06.01.2015.

Š Yana Feldman

http://feldmanyana.com

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Photo project «Saint-Petersburg. Childhood of many faces»

Contacts Yana Feldman Russia, Saint-Petersburg Mob. phone: +7-952-2217086 http://feldmanyana.com http://feldmanyana.com/childhood-of-many-faces/

© Yana Feldman

http://feldmanyana.com

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Childhood of many faces  
Childhood of many faces  
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